Coming to Canada: A Gardener’s Meditation, Part 1

A garden is a long work. Yes, you can turn soil, plant seeds, harvest in that same fall. In that sense, to grow a garden is a simple task, unskilled labour; weed a little, watch the water, wait on the season, and done. Gardening, though, is more than this. It is the communion of human…

Being Here, Now, Part Two

So, I was saying I  met Ram Dass? That is to say, in the library of the good people who invited me to live in their house (and made it seem I was doing them a favour by house-sitting), among the books was this dark purple one, called ‘Be Here Now.’ I’d never seen anything…

Being Here Now, Part One

Long ago, in Mexico, I lived by myself for the first time in my life. All alone, in a traditional Mexican house, which closes firmly to the street, but opens into a courtyard, which ends at a rough stone wall, shared by several neighbourhood houses. I’d lived in that town for about half a year,…

Spirit Mothering

  I was 23 when I met my spirit mother. I’d buried my father and my older brother, gone to university, gotten put on probation, answered an ad that seemed the answer to my prayer for something meaningful to do with that year, some path that mattered. The path led to Mexico, to a teaching…

Keep on Dancing

Today, I’m watching this film: Dancing Around the Table My aim was just to show my kid her grandpa, there among the indigenous delegations; but of course, start watching, and it is remarkably clear that, despite what the champions of derivative, tragedy porn works like ‘Secret Path’ would have us believe, the truth has been…

O Canada: Our Home, and Native Land

Not that we haven’t got Indigenous language versions, made by Indigenous language speakers. That’s remarkable, really, considering how the government made it policy to try to exterminate our languages. My Ojibwe tongue was severed in my father’s generation. That those who have kept our languages love this country in spite of it all, enough to put into those the anthem of the country that engendered such a history of abuse against our families, frankly moves me to tears.

This level of love and enduring belief in the power of making a home here for all comers should be lifted up as one of the world’s great examples of humanity.

Unfettered: Good Night,Good Luck

This essay was written in 2016, when the Edmonton Journal cut its staff so severely, part of the Postmedia move to ‘consolidate’ newsrooms across the land.  I didn’t publish it then; an acquaintance who works in journalism pointed out that it was a raw moment for everyone ‘in the field’ and not the time for…

Tool Of God

Originally posted on Prairiepomes:
? It has been a long, dark winter. Today marks four years since the tsunami that devastated Tohoku, with its continuing legacy of nuclear refugees, radiation leaking into the sea, untold ramifications to come to us all. I pray that those who are responsible to act directly upon Fukushima have been…

Shallow Dreams

  I live in the North, where we set fire to the future as we burn the past. I live in the Shadow of the Elephant, that bawdy collection of vicious history and bepuffed expectations, that demands we nod along with the trumpeting falsehood that the best of them is the entirety of them. This…

Her Singers, Her Songs

I will sing for joy. – Psalms 92:4 What music brought joy to Mom?What were Mom’s favourite songs, and who were her favourite singers? A daughter can’t always know that, as every one of us has songs with meanings we hold only in our own heart. As for the songs and singers I do recall,…

Ten Things

You have filled my heart with greater joy. – Psalms 4:7 This simple statement has squirrelled round in my head all day, while I wondered what to write. Finally, I saw a photo of David Letterman, now old and bearded, like some unexpected hermit, and I’ve taken that as my way in. Dave, if you…

Toes for God

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.  – St. Augustine If not for my Mom, God might have taken my toes, along with my horse and my money. I was the third of six, middle daughter, youngest of the ‘big kids.’ Sometimes I felt a bit invisible to Mom….